iOS 17.5.1 fixes bug resurfacing deleted photos on iPhones

To install iOS 17.5.1, go to Settings, tap General, then tap Software Update, then follow on-screen instructions
An undated image showing an iPhone being updated. — Vecteezy
An undated image showing an iPhone being updated. — Vecteezy

Days after the latest iOS update, iOS 17.5.1, was rolled out to tap into wider iPhone audience, many users began reporting that some deleted photos had started reappearing on their iPhone library. 

It's still unclear as to what sort of pictures were affected and the pattern behind it, with some users reporting the photos were sent in Messages while other speculating Apple's willful attempt of keeping the photos they said they deleted. 

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Fortunately, with the release of iOS 17.5.1, the problem appears to be fixed. The release notes of the resolving iOS update are as follows:

  • When you “delete” a file in iOS (and most other operating systems), it’s not actually erased. Instead, a file management system marks that area of storage as empty and available for future use. But the data is technically still there until it is overwritten by new data, which is how some specialised forensic software can recover “deleted” data from hard drives and SSDs. 
  • So Apple wasn’t keeping deleted photos or messages in iCloud beyond the 30-day restore period. Instead, some images marked as deleted but not yet overwritten by new data had their database entries corrupted in such a way as to cause your iPhone or iPad to once again display them in your Photos albums.

iOS 17 compatible phones

The following iPhone models and lineups are compatible to support iOS 17 and are making the most of new features and improvements offered with the so-far latest iOS update. 

iPhone SE (2nd generation and later), iPhone XR, iPhone XS and XS Max, iPhone 11 series, iPhone 12 series, iPhone 13 series, iPhone 14 series, iPhone 15 series. 

Will iPhone 8 get iOS 17

To put it simply, no. You can check the full list of iPhone lineups and models supporting iOS 17 update provided above.

Can iPhone X update to iOS 17

Of course your iPhone X can be updated to the latest iOS 17. See the list we've provided above for all the iPhone lineups and models that support iOS 17's.

How to update to iOS 17.5.1

  • To update your iPhone:
  • Open Settings
  • Select General
  • Select Software Update
  • Follow the on-screen instructions